Start with something special! Alpha Omega is a new Napa winery that manages to cater to each and every crowd. Their modern tasting room and friendly staff welcome newcomers and Napa aficionados with open arms. The beautifully unique water feature outside is a perfect spot to start or end your day. It doesn’t hurt that the wine is spectacular, from big, bold reds that embody what everyone loves about Napa wines to smooth whites that offer delicate balance.
From here, move on to Beringer Vineyards. One of Napa's original wineries, Beringer Vineyards offers lush landscaping and historic architecture along with a variety of tasting experiences. Those wanting to experience everything Napa has to offer should opt for the Legendary Cave Tour, a 30 minute walk through the tunnels and Old Winery while sampling 3 of their wines. More serious wine lovers will enjoy the reserve tastings in the Rhine House, the beautiful historic home where the Beringer brothers lived. Reservations are required for these special tours, but walk-ins are welcome for traditional tastings in their grand tasting rooms.
Grab Lunch at the Bistro at Francis Ford Coppola's Winery
Started in 1879 by a wine loving sea captain, Inglenook produced some of the finest wines in the world until 1964 when it was unceremoniously sold to United Vintners who quickly dropped the quality in favor of the jug wine. Fortunately, a few decades later saw the sale of the winery to Hollywood’s Francis Ford Coppola, who begin to return it to its former glory. Its grandeur is impressive, but, even better, there is an outdoor bistro where you can purchase bread, cheese, meats and a delicious, moderately priced bottle of wine. Snag a table and enjoy your light lunch and vino with some first class people watching.
Mondavi was one of the first wineries that put Napa Valley on the map. The basic walking tour happens on the hour and requires no reservations but you should upgrade to the reserve tour where you'll go from “vines to wines” in 90 minutes. This tour requires reservations which means you'll be away from the sometimes huge crowds of walk-in first timers trying to push their way to the front of the bar. Mondavi is not as posh or modern as some we’d recommend, but we promise you will not be disappointed in the history, wine quality, and undeniably classic Napa Valley feel.
Domaine Chandon is a beautiful winery with fantastic sparkling wines. Get there right when they open to order a flight of champagne. While the outside terrace is tempting, the indoor bar is equally as nice. Behind it, you will find well-educated servers able to tell you intricate details about each and every bottle, as well as general wine education for beginners. If you are coming with a large group of 10 or more, it’s worth noting that Domaine Chandon is one of the few wineries that will welcome your group - as long as you make reservations.